Independent public charter high school with a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) focus
College-preparatory course content built on the NC Common Core Curriculum and the Framework for K-12 Science Education
Enrollment: 2016-2017: 498
Average Class Size: 24
Bell Schedule: 9:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
School Colors: Green & Silver
Chartered March 2012, Opened August 2012
Research Triangle High School opened in August 2012 with 145 ninth grade students. The 2013-14 school year saw a new cohort of 140 entering ninth graders.
Our student population reflects the diversity of the Triangle, meeting our mission of serving “a broad spectrum of students.” Students have come to RTHS from 53 middle schools and five counties, literally from one end of the Triangle to the other. About 44% of our students are African American and 41% are Caucasian, with the balance Asian, Latino and others. Some students have come to us extremely well-prepared for excelling immediately in high school, and some have arrived extremely unprepared for doing college-preparatory work. Those who are willing to learn how to learn, and to work hard, become successful at RTHS.
Our goal for the RTHS community is to continue to be a place that serves a broad spectrum of students, and to maintain our enrollment of students from diverse backgrounds, economically, academically and racially. It is our intention to be a school that moves all students through our rigorous, hands-on college preparatory curriculum and into college.
RTHS’s first-year READY End of Course exam scores, aligned to the Common Core and the Essential Standards, are below. It is important to note that RTHS will never consider scores hovering at 50% as meeting our ultimate goals, but we also want to make sure that readers have the proper context surrounding these scores and can see our hopes and plans for RTHS moving forward, from a solid beginning in year one to an even stronger second year.
And there are some aspects of these results which we consider positive. Please read on!
RTHS Compared to Other Durham Schools:
First, our Durham students greatly exceeded the performance of what would have been their base schools. In fact, 89% of our Durham students exceeded the average scores at their base schools. In addition, as a school whole, our Math I and Biology scores were higher than any other Durham school’s scores. (See Fig. 1 below) Our Math II exam scores were very high. These MSL tests (which are not EOCs) showed that our average student’s score was at the 81st percentile. Similarly, our MSL scores for World Civilization averaged at the 70th percentile, enough points ahead of prediction for many of the students to have achieved ‘High Growth’.
RTHS Challenges in its First Year:
Our challenge this year and next is to bring all of our 9th grade scores, and the upcoming 10th graders' scores, up to a significantly higher percentage of students achieving ‘proficient’. We have done extensive in-house analysis of all aspects of these first year numbers – faculty skills and needs, student gaps in learning and needs, testing skills and preparation, content matching to the new READY exams, and more. We are already using this all-staff analysis to redesign our work for this year’s new 9th grade and our returning 10th grade. We expect to see significant progress over the coming years as we improve the learning at RTHS until our students meet the highest North Carolina, national, and then international standards.
RTHS By The Numbers and Comparisons:
In the table below, local area charter schools and the assigned base schools for RTHS students are included for comparison. The Performance Composite numbers were revised internally to make a more realistic comparison to RTHS. The published NC Public Schools Performance Composite calculations include data that RTHS does not have, namely, graduation rate, Math Rigor, ACT testing results, and English II EOC scores. Some of those data have a buoying effect. Since RTHS’ Performance Composite (PC) was only the average of the student percent proficient in Math I and Biology, for this analysis we have revised each school’s PC to reflect only comparable data.